Rep. Jared Golden’s about-face on gun laws is not surprising. He is a Democrat representing Lewiston, Maine, still convulsed by a mass shooting that took 18 lives. Formerly against tightening the laws, Golden now wants a ban on semiautomatic weapons.
One can understand why elected officials in rural areas, even in generally liberal states, would put forth the argument that guns really aren’t a problem. Maine, after all, is a low-crime place. Its murder rate is fourth-lowest in the nation, despite a strong gun culture. Many Mainers rely on firearms to hunt for dinner. Vermont, another New England state with little gun violence and lax guns laws, has the second lowest murder rate in the country.